Author Topic: Is invisible fencing cruel? UPDATED and REVISED  (Read 8672 times)

Offline aggghgmom

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Is invisible fencing cruel? UPDATED and REVISED
« on: June 09, 2008, 11:01:55 am »
First let me say I have invisible fence I have it inside and outside.  It was in the house when we bought it.  I was looking up retraining invisible fencing boundaries because we have rewired the yard to give Harley more room to run.  For whatever reason when the fencing was installed they cut the yard pretty small and the yard isn't big to begin with.

Anyway while searching I kept coming across articles that got me thinking...ele ctrical current going thru the body...heart condition...fe ar against kids, dogs, critters that may be in the road and when your dog goes after them the dog gets zapped.

Our town has very strict zoning laws and no fences are allowed in the front yard - so Harley would have to stay in the back - where we have a large in ground pool and basically no yard - he can run around the pool but thats it - is that better?

I'm feeling sooo badly that I have done this to Harley, he doesn't seem to care - but current going thru his body.. :'(

Sorry so long

Randy
« Last Edit: June 14, 2008, 10:03:15 am by aggghgmom »

Offline Rajas Mom

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Re: Is invisible fencing cruel?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2008, 05:06:43 pm »
I'm lucky, I have a huge fenced in backyard, but my parents live in the country and have a huge yard, not to mention a lot of property.  They (or rather my father) are "old school" and let the dogs have the run of the land.  Fencing in the yard wasn't an option for them, so after over the years losing two dogs to cars, my mother took advantage of technology and got an underground fence.

They started it out having white flags along the boundry of the fence.  The dogs learned very quickly.  They even have an extra collar for me when I go to visit, and the fence must give off some sort of warning vibe.  While Bo has only been zapped once, he knows when he gets within 2-4 feet of the fence, as the brakes come on and he backs up.  Not a yelp out of him (with the exception of that one time).  And he figured that out in less than his first day there.
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lins_saving_grace

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Re: Is invisible fencing cruel?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2008, 05:11:17 pm »
Randy, I know it sucks to train our pets with a shock like that.  but the cruelest thing to do is not to train them to stay in the yard and have them get hurt, killed or stolen because they got loose.  I promise, the training will be short and sweet.  Harley will learn once not to break the fence and all will be ok.  Grace and Lady use to run through the yard and never break the fence line.  I accidentally let them out when the power was out once...they ran around for 30 minutes before I remembered the invisible fence was off too.  They never left the yard.  It's for Harley's protection and your piece of mind that you train like this.  you'll be fine.

DenverFurKiddos

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Re: Is invisible fencing cruel?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2008, 08:21:33 pm »
Hi Randy,
I totally know what you mean about questioning the humaneness of invisible fencing.  I totally struggled with it too.  Ultimately, we made the decision to try it (after I made my hubby run through it, of course!!), and I feel confident that we made a good decision. 

We use Petstop and both boys are on the lowest correction level.  Like Lin, our fence actually got unplugged for at least a week, and we had no idea!  Once the boys learned their boundary, they really don't test the limits at all.  In fact, all they really need is the auditory beep that warns them that they are getting close. Because of this, we actually keep their collars really loose (I had a problem with the prongs...I think that they MUST be very uncomfy!). 

If I could do it all over again, I would make the same decision; although, it would have been nice to find a system that has a auditory and physical vibration warning....I think I've heard of a system that has this, but I'm not sure which one. 

jesday

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Re: Is invisible fencing cruel?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2008, 10:31:37 am »
In a neighborhood setting like yours sounds, this kind of fence is the way to go. Most dogs learn so quickly. I have several friends who use the invisible fence and their dogs have shown no ill effects and, as others have mentioned, half the time they don't even have to have it on. In a country setting there are a few more drawbacks. For one, it doesn't keep other critters out and the dog may find chasing that deer outweighs the momentary discomfort. Then when they want to come back home the fence keeps them out instead of in.

I saw a show many years ago about a couple who were training their young Corkey puppy with an invisible fence. She let the dog out about 11:00pm before bed and the dog walked out of the lighted area. She heard a terrible yelp and ran to turn the flood lights on in time to see a coyote carrying off her precious pup. Hysterically she and her husband tromped through the woods with flash lights in hopes of finding it to no avail. When they got home they heard a small whimper and found the little guy under their car. He had a couple of little bite wounds but otherwise was fine. Because of the position of the wounds they were able to determine the coyote had grabbed the pup by the neck/training collar and as he crossed the invisible fence got a mouth full of shock, dropped the pup and hightailed out.

I love happy endings. Your guy should be fine and happier with a little more room to stretch his legs. Good luck. 



Offline TINKSMOM

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Re: Is invisible fencing cruel?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2008, 10:22:07 am »
I have had an invisible fence for 12 years. If your dog is properly trained it is an excellent training device and is not cruel. Try the collar on your hand and feel the shock that is given. Correction can be taught at the lowest level.

1) You must train your dog what his boundaries are. Use the flags, have him on leash and let him hear the beep. When he hears it tell him "no" and pull him back. You must walk the boundaries several times with your dog. Installing the fence and just turning him loose to "figure it out" is cruel.

2)My collar will "beep" then "vibrate" then issue the shock. The dog has two chances to turn around before getting the shock. There are 8 levels of correction and I have only used the first.

3) I also purchased a remote training system. Same system but with a hand held device so you can take them off leash to the country, park, hiking, etc. I use it when we go to my father-in-laws farm (300 acres) and she never has to be on leash. I never use this system in our yard because it will confuse her as to where her boundaries are.

The shock is not nearly the strength of a horse or cattle fence. When Tink does get a shock, she doesn't yelp, she just seems irritated and itches at it. If installed and used properly I think invisible fence systems are an awesome tool for any size dog.Education and training is the key.

I am definately and advocate for them -IF used properly.
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Offline MarleyPyr

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Re: Is invisible fencing cruel?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2008, 04:30:39 pm »

I am definately and advocate for them -IF used properly.
I second this! it has provided our Pyr with a huge playground that we know he is safe in.
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Offline maxsmom

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Re: Is invisible fencing cruel?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2008, 07:16:27 am »
I think it completely depends on the dog.  For some breeds, with a high prey drive, or a strong territorial instinct, it doesn't usually work that well.  We live in a small subdivision, but the homes are older, lots of huge trees, and a few wooded areas around us.  We regularly have coons and opossums in our yard, not to mention the stray cats, etc.  My dogs will charge the wooden fences and bounce their front paws off of them and the gates, trying to get to whatever just went over or under them.  I would never trust an invisible fence to keep them in.  I would be more concerned that it would prevent them from coming back in the yard, than stopping them from going out, if they were focused on something outside the fence.  It also would not prevent children or anyone else from just walking themselves or their dog right through my yard, particularly in front.  I would never trust my dogs with a strange animal coming into their yard.  I think you need to really look at your situation and evaluate what is best for you and your particular dog.
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Offline Newly Newfed

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Re: Is invisible fencing cruel?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2008, 07:49:36 am »
My brother in law, Karl, recently moved to Ohio and has a large piece of land that his dogs were unfamiliar with.  They sectioned off a nice size piece of the yard and the perimeter of their house which is backed by woods with an invisible fence.  The dogs learned within two days that they are not to go near the flags in the yard no matter how badly they want to get outside of their area.  The collars beep when they get close and bothe dogs freeze and then slowly back up.  That's all they really need is the beep  and to see the flags.  Karl even tested the dogs and the flags in closer and the dogs didn't go within a few feet of them, even though the collar didn't beep.  He said after the first two days, the dogs have never had anything more than the beep from the collar.
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Offline MollyGirl

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Re: Is invisible fencing cruel?
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2008, 09:49:48 am »

I am definately and advocate for them -IF used properly.
I second this! it has provided our Pyr with a huge playground that we know he is safe in.
I third this!!! My Pyr also does wonderfully with the invisible fencing.  And if it does fail it is the training that fails not the dog.
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Offline aggghgmom

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Re: Is invisible fencing cruel? UPDATED and REVISED
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2008, 10:01:08 am »
Thanks everyone - It makes me feel better to hear from everyone - something I didn't make clear is that we already have invisible fence and Harley is on it.  He does OK but sometimes chooses to escape if he sees something he REALLY wants -

When we moved in this house it was here and since the town is so strict about fences it seemed the way to go - I generally investigate everything but didn't on this I just went with it - when I started to look into RETRAINING Harley because we moved the fence lines is where I started reading all the articles about heart issues, current etc.

So we redid the lines to give Harley some extra room and so that he could run around the perimiter of the house but he WON'T we put his leash on and offer treats to try to re-train him but he won't cross the lines - any ideas of how I can re-train him - should I reflag the property?  I want him to be able to run around the pool and the house it gives him some room to run now that we have taken away a large part of the backyard for pool.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks
Randy

Offline MarleyPyr

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Re: Is invisible fencing cruel? UPDATED and REVISED
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2008, 01:57:56 pm »
Each dog is different I know but for us the flags seem to work well as the deterent. Recently my husband expanded our driveway and flattened out a bunch of dirt in preparation for the crushed stone. Obviously Marley the first time we turned our backs started to dig in the new fresh dirt! ha ha. My husband decided to try putting the flags around the dirt area (which is usually a spot Marley can wander to) and it worked! He avoided that area because of the flags. When we spread the crushed stone down, we removed the flags and Marley now walks over there again. Try the flags and see if you dog just needs a new visual..??
Carolyn
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Offline TINKSMOM

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Re: Is invisible fencing cruel? UPDATED and REVISED
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2008, 06:12:45 am »
I agree with the flags, visuals always help. But you also need to inspect your collar and make sure it is working properly and is fastened properly. Check your batteries and you need to make sure your collar is not too loose, you should only be able to slip your finger inbetween your dogs neck and the prongs. If your dog has longer hair, they make longer prongs for these types of coats.

Additionally, once a dog learns that the shock is "not so bad" if there is something he really wants on the other side you may need to change your setting up a level or two to change his mind.

Also, take the time to escort him on leash around his perimeter and when he gets too close and you hear the beep, tell him no and pull him back. If he comes back on his own, reward him instantlywith treats or praise. Never try and "lure" your dog over the line, this just confuses them.

You should also be able to set your range as to where the dog receives the "beep" and where he receives the "shock". Increase the distance between the beep and shock. If he is at a run and gets the beep and shock instantaneousl y, he is over the line before he has a chance to to slow down and turn around. I have my shock set 4' from the line so if she ignores the beep, she has to make it through 4' of shock to cross the line.

Some dogs are more stubborn than others, but most dogs will learn to respect the fence with enough repetition and education.
My name is Lori.

Mom to
Tinkerbear (lab/kom mix)
Harley (Newfy/Saint mix)
Boomer (Cat-russian blue)
RIP - Tater Marie (basset 11/95 to 1/08)
RIP - Velcro (Kitten-Tiger Stripe)